If you ever wanted to know what it is like to be a black man, this is the read for you. Pi Suleman is a college professor, just trying to live his best life. But like any other black man living on this earth, peace is often unattainable. Pi grows up fatherless, with a teenage mother and an abundance of siblings. Instead of succumbing to the stereotypes, he works to defy the odds.
On Pi Suleman's journey, he loses the father he's never known, Archimedes. "Archimedes is the Greek mathematician who discovered the value of pi." He is raped. He is on a journey to find love. All while searching for himself. The death of his father helps him really delve deep into who he is and who he wants to be. “I am a man made in the cargo hold of ships destined for the shores of America, a man deemed free only because it was sanctioned by the government as an amendment, a man whose freedom was written as an afterthought, yet the cause of a war between the conflicted values of white men. I am a man with family history that has been marinated in four hundred years of racism.”
This story touches on a lot of heavy themes. "The Son of Mr. Suleman (TSOMS) covers a lot of territory. Racism. Colorism. Self-love. Being of mixed race. One-drop rule. Sexual assault at the workplace. Microaggressions. Mendacities as foundation for relationship. Culture differences. Politics. Being the son of a pedophile. Perceptions. The impact of enslavement and Jim Crow. Code switching. The power of death. The weight of love." It was heavy, unlike your typical EJD read, making some parts uncomfortable to read, but not making the story uninteresting. And like any other EJD read, the sex scenes are bountiful.
This book takes place in real time, touching on many current events that are happening right now (i.e.: politics, Meghan Markle's problems with British Royalty, senseless killings of black people by white terrorists and even the Popeyes chicken sandwich.) If EJD had to leave a book to sum up his legacy, this book is it, if only for the themes. Some parts of the story were slow, in my opinion, but considering the author's circumstances, I'm sure any reader would be willing to overlook that. By the time I reached the climax of the story, I could not flip the pages fast enough. This was a woke, thought provoking read that I'm glad I got to experience. Rest in paradise Eric Jerome Dickey.